Red Delicious opens with a hostile author’s note listing various reasons why this book “is not for you,” in addition to an inexplicably defensive statement that high school dropouts “aren’t illiterate idiots.” (Who said they were?) Unfortunately, these themes carry throughout the novel, with a protagonist who regularly breaks the fourth wall to demonstrate the major chip on her shoulder about her intelligence, topped off with insults to the urban fantasy genre peppered throughout. Yet despite all the protesting, this story hardly breaks new ground. The protagonist even states at one point that she’s “not here to provide a ‘satisfying read.’” So, then, what is the point of this book?
Former drug addict and demon hunter Siobhan Quinn is now a foul-mouthed half-vampire, half-werewolf hit man, much to her consternation. When she’s hired to find her presumed dead colleague and the missing necromancer he was tracking, she gets swept up in a dangerous hunt for a powerful ancient talisman. (ROC, Feb., 288 pp., $16.00)